Montana Laws on Wage Garnishments, Statute of Limitations on Debt and Bankruptcy Property Exemptions


MAXIMUM INTEREST RATE:  Legal: 10%  Judgment: 10% or contract rate


Open Account (credit cards):  5 years
Written Contract: 8 years
Domestic Judgment: 6 years (Renewable)
Foreign Judgment: 6 (Renewable)

BAD CHECK LAW DAMAGES:  Three times amount of check up to $500 ($100 minimum check amount)


Cannot use the federal exemptions, but can claim the federal non-bankruptcy exemptions

The State of Montana has exempted the property below from seizure by the bankruptcy court to pay creditors:

Real Property:  Real estate or mobile home used as residence up to $60,000 and insurance or sale proceeds are exempt for 12 months (are required to record homestead exemption before filing bankruptcy) [70-32-104, 70-32-201, 70-32-216]
Personal Property:  Animals, appliances, books, clothing, crops, firearms, household furnishings jewelry, musical instruments and sporting goods up to $600 per item and $4,500 total [25-13-609(1)]; motor vehicle up to $1,200 [25-13-609(2)]; implements, books and tools of trade up to $3,000 [25-13-609(3)]; health aids, unlimited amount [25-13-608(1)(a)]; burial plot, unlimited amount [25-13-608(1)(g)]; arms and equipment required for military use, unlimited amount [25-13-613(b)]; proceeds for damaged or lost exempt property for six months after received up to exemption amount [25-13-610]; cooperative association shares up to $500 [35-15-404]
Debt Statutes  > Montana
Insurance / Annuities:  Annuity proceeds up to $350 per month [33-15-514]; disability or illness benefits, unlimited amount [25-13-608(1)(d) and 33-15-513]; life insurance proceeds if policy prohibits proceeds from being used to pay creditors, unlimited amount [33-20-120]; fraternal society benefits, unlimited amount [33-7-522]; group life insurance policy or proceeds, unlimited amount [33-15-512]; unmatured life insurance policy up to $4,000 [25-13-609(4)]; medical, surgical or hospital care benefits, unlimited amount [25-13-608(1)(e)];  hail insurance benefits, unlimited amount [80-2-245]

Pensions / Retirement Plans:  Firefighters, unlimited amount [19-18-612(1)]; police officers, unlimited amount [19-19-504(1)]; public employees, unlimited amount [19-2-1004]; teachers, unlimited amount [19-20-706(2)]; university system employees, unlimited amount [19-21-212]; retirement benefits, unlimited amount, however, amounts in excess of 15% of one's yearly income must be deposited at least one year before filing bankruptcy to be exempt [31-2-106]
Public Benefits / Entitlements:  Social security, unlimited amount [25-13-608(1)(b)]; unemployment compensation, unlimited amount [31-2-106(2) and 39-51-3105]; workers compensation, unlimited amount [39-71-743]; crime victims compensation, unlimited amount [53-9-129]; aid to aged, blind, disabled and families with dependent children, unlimited amount [53-2-607]; general public assistance, unlimited amount [25-13-608(1)(b)]; veterans benefits, unlimited amount [25-13-608(1)(c)]; silicosis benefits, unlimited amount [39-73-110]
Wages:  75% of earned but unpaid wages [25-13-614]
Miscellaneous:  Alimony or child support, unlimited amount [25-13-608(1)(f)]